Georgetown, Guyana: Chief Labour Officer, Dhaneshwar Deonarine, accompanied by a team from the Ministry of Labour visited Tapakuma and Capoey villages in Region Two (2), and engaged the leaders and residents in discussions about the Ministry’s services, on August 19th, 2023.
According to the official update, the team highlighted the training opportunities available through the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) and key information on the conditions of work and occupational safety and health requirements were shared with the residents of both communities.
Mr Deonarine led discussions on the issue of child labour and the detrimental emotional and physical effects that children forced into child labour can experience.
Reportedly, he also emphasised the importance of building partnerships with communities and their leaders to prevent and eliminate child labour, including reporting instances of child labour to the Ministry. Importantly, the role of the community and stakeholders have to play in assisting authorities in tackling child labour was emphasised.
The Child Labour Officer went on to explain that as per the Employment of the Young Persons and Children Act, a child is defined as “a person under the age of 15 years” and according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) “Child labour refers to work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to their physical and/or mental development.
It refers to work that is mentally, or morally dangerous and harmful to children; and or/or interferes with their schooling by:
i. Depriving them of the opportunity to attend school.
ii. Obliging them to leave school prematurely.
iii. Requiring them to attempt to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work.”
Both communities have agreed to partner with the Ministry to organize sports day with the view of raising awareness on the issue of child labour.
The Ministry of Labour will continue its engagement with these communities and other communities within the Region to raise awareness of its services and also sensitization on the issue of child labour and the detrimental emotional and physical effects that children forced into child labour can experience.